By Peter Carlson
I’ve been studying and practicing Buddhist mindfulness meditation for 35 years, with an emphasis on how modern scientific research supports the concepts and practices of traditional Buddhism. Because of this interest, I bought “The Mind Illuminated-A Completed Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom And Brain Science”. It was written collaboratively by Culadasa (John Yates, PhD.), Matthew Immergut, PhD. And Jeremy Graves, and published in 2015.
I’ve used it as a guide for my two-week self-retreats in 2015 and 2016, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to develop mindfulness significantly in his or her life. The book describes ten stages of progression towards Awakening, from the basics of how to establish a committed daily meditation practice to the potential experience of Nirvana, the total liberation of the mind from distress and confusion about life.
Each chapter provides practical instruction on how to cultivate stronger and more pervasive levels of focal stability and tranquility, alternating with what are called “interludes”, which provide conceptual support for the various practical applications and what happens in the mind during the different stages.
As a long time committed meditation practitioner and teacher, I confidently recommend using this book as a personal guideline for meditation practice. This recommendation is based on my own experience accumulated over the decades of practice; I find the book validates and clarifies what I have discovered in the traditional Buddhist teachings and the contemporary commentary on mindfulness and neuroscientific research.
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